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What does the future hold for Austin music?

music 2011 predictions

Michael Corcoran
Austin city limits live at moody theater. A rendering shows the big plans for Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater, opening this year.

The Austin music scene will never be the same after 2011, as Riverside Drive far from the Waller Creek Tunnel Project will start to become the new punk rock corridor with the July opening of Emo's On the Hill at the former Back Room location. During the next four years of construction, the Waller Creek project will take 28 acres of prime real estate out of the flood plain, turning the area from Waterloo Park to Lady Bird Lake into an Austin version of San Antonio's Riverwalk. So unless the Riverboat Gamblers can learn a mariachi set, they're headed to Riverside, where other rock clubs should follow Emo's owner's Frank Hendrix's lead over the next few years.

Here are some other predictions for the coming year.

1. With Waterloo Park all Wallered up, Fun Fun Fun Fest will not move to Auditorium Shores as expected, but to East Austin, where they'll put a fence around Pine Street Station (the Fader Fort during SXSW) and the East Side Drive In on the next block.

2. KUT will lay the groundwork for a new nationally syndicated radio show, "Live From the Cactus Cafe," with host Jody Denberg.

3. C3 Presents will announce that, due to crowd safety issues, the areas where fans can put their chairs will be greatly restricted at the Austin City Limits Music Festival.

4. The opening of Austin City Limits Live at Moody Theater will cause big changes at downtown venues, as the Austin Music Hall will refocus marketing to attract quinceañeras and car shows. In order to compete, Stubb's will finally break ground on its refigured, 4,000-capacity amphitheater, with a stage facing the homeless shelter.

5. The Eli Young Band will learn the words to the national anthem.

6. The headliners at ACL Fest will be Radiohead (finally), Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Dixie Chicks and a New Order reunion.

7. New country music nightclub the Stage on Sixth Street will start hosting live music in the afternoon, just as they do at their downtown Nashville location. But it won't work on Sixth Street because tourists don't go there during the day except to score drugs and get their pictures taken with Leslie.

8. South by Southwest will buy a struggling night club. Paul Oveisi and Frank Hendrix will be hired to run it.

9. National breakout artists this year from Austin will be Kat Edmonson and Suzanna Choffel.

10. Noise complaints from Riverside Drive neighbors, pining for the days of drag racing and 2 a.m. gunshots, will call for a new live music sound ordinance that asks for monitoring meters to be placed inside the bass drum.